I am asked a lot to explain how I quit my job as a nurse to blog full-time. Many people are curious about how it can be done and what I actually do for a living! I wanted to share my blogging journey with you and hope it answers some of your questions.
I WANTED TO WORK FROM HOME
My entire adult life had consisted of me working outside the home. It was necessary for our family and overall I enjoyed my work as a nurse.
As our family grew, our schedules became really difficult to manage. My husband and I both commuted to work from our small town in Kansas and that took even more time away from the family.
My stress level had grown and I knew I needed to do something different that would be better for my kids. Working from home was the goal.
I decided to start a blog and hoped it would eventually be a source of income to help me quit working outside the home and help me make money working from home.
I STARTED A BLOG
Life is Sweeter by Design was started way back in 2014. If you read some of my OLD posts you will see that I have come a long way and my site has evolved a lot over the years.
The biggest reason I believe I have been successful at blogging is that I treated my blog like a business from the very beginning. Even when I wasn't making any money.
Time was sacred for me back then (and still is, LOL), but I dedicated time each week to working on my site. Consistent work was KEY to making this blog dream into a true money-making business.
This was not an overnight success. Blogging isn't a get rick quick scheme. It is hard work.
I worked….and worked…and worked.
The first year I made no money.
The second year I made some money.
The third year I doubled my income and it kept increasing from there. Eventually I replaced the income I made as a nurse. Then I was making quite a bit more than I made as a nurse and that was when I knew it was safe to quit that job and work from home on my blog full-time!
I QUIT MY JOB AS A NURSE TO BLOG FULL-TIME
I was able to quit my job as a nurse in May of 2019 to work from home full-time. It would have been possible for me to quit working about a year sooner, but we had some financial goals we were working on and I decided to stick it out a little longer. It is scary leaving a job you have had for 18 years!!
My blog was making nearly twice as much as I was making as a nurse and the time had come to realize my dreams and goals and blog full-time.
BLOGGING FULL-TIME WAS A BLESSING
I had NO idea that God was preparing me to work from home full-time for years…so that I was at home when one of our kids needed me the most.
Less than 6 weeks after I resigned from my nursing job my oldest daughter had a life-threatening health issue hit us out of nowhere.
She was in ICU for 2 weeks and hospitalized for 3 weeks. Her recovery after coming home was LONG and she now has a chronic illness that she battles while trying to be a normal college student. You can read her full story here.
Being able to work from home was the biggest blessing in our lives during her worst days. I have no doubt that I would have lost my job had I still been working outside the home. There were so many appointments, trips to Mayo Clinic out of state and general care that was needed….it would have been impossible to make it work.
I am thankful that I put in all the hard work for those years…until I was able to replace my nursing income.
HOW DO I MAKE MONEY BLOGGING?
There are multiple income streams involved in blogging. Here are some of the ways bloggers make money:
- Ad revenue
- Sponsored Work
- Affiliate Income
- Selling their own products
You will see ads on my website and I will not apologize for those ads. I spend around 40 hours OR MORE each week working on my 3 websites. Most of my content is GIVEN AWAY FOR FREE to my readers. The ads you see actually pay my bills.
I have done sponsored work over the years. Connecting with brands I love…they will pay me to share their brand with my audience. I only partner with brands I trust and am comfortable sharing with my readers.
Another way to make money is to share product links with my readers. The links will take the reader to a product they are interested in learning more about. If they decide to make a purchase I may make a TINY percentage off of that sale. It doesn't cost my reader any extra and the company is paying me as a way to thank me for sending a customer their way.
Over the years I have developed some of my own digital products and I sell those in my SHOP here on my site.
MY BLOG LEAD TO A BOOK DEAL
Last year I was approached by a publisher who asked me if I would be interested in writing a cookbook of air fryer recipes.
I decided to accept the book deal and am now a published author. My Air Fryer Cookbook for Weight Loss would not have been possible if it weren't for my blog.
The publisher was able to find me because of the success of my blog and they like working with bloggers who have an established audience.
HOW CAN YOU START A BLOG?
I get asked by many people about how they can start a blog. Anyone can start a blog and if it is something you are serious about I definitely encourage it.
Blogs are not what they started out to be years ago….they aren't a daily journal of our thoughts, feelings and activities. In order to make money blogging you have to bring useful content online and it needs to be something people will search out.
The internet is MASSIVE and in order to be FOUND you have to bring something to the table. If you want to blog full-time you need to start off on the right foot.
EDUCATION IS KEY
One reason I believe I was successful at blogging is that I knew I had to learn how to do it from people who had done it and could teach others.
I spent money in order to make money. I invested some money in some quality courses that I could take at home and it pushed me forward much quicker than if I had tried to learn it all myself.
Here are some blogging courses I highly recommend and have taken myself:
- Blog of Number Course is a step-by-step program for beginning bloggers. It shows you exactly what to do and the author is WONDERFUL. I can't recommend this course enough for newbies! This course will set you up on the road to success and help you with questions you didn't even know you had!
- Once your blog is set up you need to start it right and understand how you can actually get traffic to your blog. Traffic Transformations is a wonderful course that gives you practical tips, tricks, and ideas that HELP. I took this and it really advanced my website.
- You do not want to try and learn to blog on your own. IT IS ALWAYS CHANGING. I cannot stress this enough….things change rapidly in the online world. My saving grace has been finding close blogging friends. An easy way to make this happen is to join a tribe of other bloggers. The group I am currently is is for bloggers who are at an intermediate level…when you reach this level you will want to be part of this elite group called The Blog Hive. You will learn SO MUCH!
TIPS FOR NEW BLOGGERS
I could write post after post with tips and ideas to help you get off to the right start on your blogging journey.
Since I don't have the time to do that I will highlight some of the things I found useful along the way and things I still use that I love and that save me time.
- You don't have to learn everything at once. I am intimidated by PhotoShop so I have never learned it and don't use it. I use PicMonkey primarily to edit my photos and I love it. It is an easy learning curve with great results. When I need stock photos I always use DepositPhotos. They have a great selection and commercial rights usage so I don't have to worry about that!
- Pinterest is one of my biggest traffic generators. Learning the ever-changing world of Pinterest is critical for blogging success for many people. A course on Pinterest will be a big benefit.
- When you are first starting out it is important to keep costs as low as you can while you are working to make some money. Hosting costs can be a challenge. There are some low-cost hosting options that are fine for newbies. Once your blog grows I suggest you move to a host who can handle larger volumes of traffic and you will get better customer service.
- You will want to eventually partner with some companies who pay you to promote their products via affiliate commissions. The company that I do the most work with is called Shareasale. They have thousands of brands that utilize their platform and you can partner with these brands to make some money.
- Promoting your blog through social media is very important and very time-consuming. Finding schedulers that you can utilize will help ease some of the time requirements and make social media more manageable. There are lots of schedulers out there and I have used quite a few different ones over the years. The ones I use now and have used for a long time are awesome. I use SmarterQueue to schedule Facebook and Twitter. It also works for other platforms, but I don't use it for those right now. I use Tailwind to schedule my Pinterest and Instagram.
- Learning Search Engine Optimization is also critical for success with Google. If people can't find you then you won't be able to make any money.
- It is important to start an email list of your readers. Connecting with your readers via email is a simple way to build a relationship. It is also a way to offer them deals and products you like. An email list can be a big moneymaker if you cultivate it. You will want to use an email service to help you keep track of emails and send quality emails. Sending emails from your regular email account will be seen as spam and isn't the proper way to do it. There are many email providers out there. I currently use Birdsend. Some other good ones are Constant Contact and Convert Kit. Birdsend is affordable for me and fairly easy to use. Convert Kit is the Cadillac of email service providers but is costly.
IT IS POSSIBLE TO BLOG FULL-TIME
I have shared a lot of information here….my own story….and information for those who are wanting to take a similar journey.
It is possible to blog full-time and make a full-time living. I have many close friends across the country who blog full-time and several of them make 6 figures a year.
I will tell you that if you go down this road…the people in your regular life will probably never really understand what you do for a living, LOL. My gut feeling is that most people in my day to day life…think I sit at home and eat bonbons.
Blogging is hard work and there are days my brain is fried because of the ever-changing industry.
I have found this work from home job to be worth the trouble because it has given me FLEXIBILITY. Being available for my family is priceless.
I am also proud to show my children that you are never to old to change course and learn new things. Career changes in mid-life can be challenging but not impossible! If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would own three websites and have published my own cookbook by now…I would have never thought it could happen, LOL.
I would love to hear what you are thinking and be sure to share my story! It may inspire someone you know to find the path they are meant to be on!